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The Government Spent $300 Million Making Coins No One Wants

John W. Poole/NPR
The coin storage area of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's Baltimore Branch.
John W. Poole/NPR

In the past four years, the U.S. government spent $300 million making a billion coins that no one wants — the result of a Congressional mandate to mint $1 coins bearing the likeness of each U.S. president.

The coins are filling Federal Reserve vaults around the country, and the program is still only about half done. (Ulysses S. Grant was on the most recent coin.)

By the time things wrap up in 2016, the number of unwanted coins could reach 2 billion, according to the Fed.

Planet Money's David Kestenbaum and Robert Benincasa of NPR's investigative team have a story on the program online and on Morning Edition.

Read the whole thing here.